When you start working out, one of the first things that you might notice is a lack of energy. It’s a common issue, and one of the reasons comes from (often) not hydrating yourself well enough. This is a common problem, and will often lead to various issues including cramping and overheating. Not only will your workout often be quite weak in comparison to how it should feel, but you will find it harder to get through the workout – and to recover.
So with that in mind, let’s look at some useful tips to help you stay hydrated.
Before we get into the fine details of planning your hydration strategy, keep in mind you should have some consistent methods of monitoring your hydration. We will talk about a few strategies such as urine color and post-workout weight loss, but you may find value in adopting a quality hydration tracker that you can carry around throughout the day. In this way, you can be sure you are hydrating yourself at least with the minimum recommended water intake.
Before you start the workout, it’s important that you start to prepare yourself for the experience to come. It’s among the most important things that you can prepare for, and will usually play a leading role in helping you to get into a good workout shape. Why? Because a hydrated body is more able, and a hydrated mind is more likely to fight through fatigue.
Many of us, though, think we can just drink a bunch of water before we start the workout. Instead, you need to give your body time to take in all of that water. This means that you should look to start drinking around an hour prior to the workout. It’s recommended that you try and fit in around 8-12oz of water around 20 minutes before you start your workout.
This, though, can change from person to person. The main thing that you need to keep in mind is that you should start drinking moderate amounts of water an hour before you start the workout. Around 20 minutes, before you start, take in that 8-12oz of water, for a more detailed look amount you should check the hydration calculator from Gym Equipment UK. It should be enough to help give your body the helping hand that it needs to get the workout started, meaning that you can start to see some benefits.
The best way to know if you are hydrated prior to going for a workout, though, is to head to the toilet and urinate. If your urine is a pale yellow, almost golden in color, then you are in the sweet spot. If your urine is too dark, then you are dehydrated and you need to improve your water intake. If the urine is clear, though, then you are too hydrated – which can be just as problematic as being dehydrated, so keep that in mind.
During Workout Hydration
Once you actually start working out, though, you will need to start paying attention to the body more than you have until now. The workout is going to push your body in ways that it might not normally be pushed, so you will soon find that it can be quite hard to keep things moving along in the way that you would have intended.
It’s recommended that you try to drink around 5oz of water for every 20 minutes of the workout that you are doing. However, don’t take this as an arbitrary figure: it’s not 5oz good, less than 5oz bad. Workout hydration is more in relation to how you feel and how your body is reacting. If you start to feel bloated and like you are unable to perform due to excess water intake, then you should look to reduce how much you are drinking. Over-hydrating yourself will also not put your body into a great state for exercise or for recovery.
If you find yourself constantly licking your lips trying to get some moisture back in there, though, take a drink. Also, keep in mind that the amount of water that you tend to drink during the workout is going to be very important related to the amount of exercise that you do. A low-intensity workout will naturally need you to do less to hydrate your system than you would need if you were going for a high-intensity interval experience.
Keep that in mind. And also, try and remember that you want to ever avoid feeling thirsty during a workout. If you start to feel parched, then your pre-workout hydration was not significant enough. If you start to feel like you are feeling thirsty then you probably need to push your water intake ever so slightly higher: the feeling of thirst is already a sign that you aren’t operating at 100%.
Once all the ‘fun’ stops and you feel like you have sweated out every last ounce of fluid that was in your body, you now need to begin the arduous but important recovery phase. This can be tough to do, but we recommend that you spend some time looking at post-workout hydration tips such as the ones below. The first thing that you should do, though, is going back to the very start: before you begin your workout, be sure to weigh yourself.
The reason that this matters is that how much water you need to take in now will be related very much to how much work you have put in. basically, if you weigh yourself then you will know how much water you have shifted during the workout. This should mean that you know how much water you now need to take in. It is suggested that you take in around 16oz of water for every pound of weight that is lost during your workout activity. This means that if you have really pushed it, you had better be ready to take in a lot of water after the workout has finished.
One of the main reasons why this matters so much is that, quite simply, your body needs to be replenished. Losing as much as a pound of weight means that you need to make that up somewhere along the line. If you want to properly care for your body, then, you should start taking hydration more seriously.
It’s surprisingly easy to spend a lot of time not really knowing just how much fluid you should be taking in. With that in mind, then, it’s important to appreciate the importance of hydration as you go, as it will make a significant contribution to your performance over time. By hydrating yourself with consistency, using the tips above, your workouts will improve and you will feel healthier in your day-to-day tasks.